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Final lap of Bar Council Delhi axes 95; Sondhi still waiting

Ramesh Gupta has been confirmed as the latest member of the Delhi Bar Council as the counting of votes enters the last stage, having now eliminated 95 candidates. Nine out of the 30 remaining candidates, including Luthra & Luthra partner Vijay Sondhi, are still at risk of losing.

The four incumbent candidates Abhay Verma, K K Manan, Murari Tiwari and Gupta have so far been declared winners after they managed to secure the designated cut-off quota of 786 votes.

The currently presiding Delhi Bar Council chairman Ved Prakash Sharma is also hopeful of winning, he told Legally India yesterday (16 December).

"I am waiting with my fingers crossed," said Sharma. "The final result would be announced by tomorrow late evening."

By yesterday morning 95 candidates had been eliminated with nine more yet to face the axe.

"If counting officials sit until midnight, they might be able to eliminate all," commented Sharma yesterday, "but they usually finish by 10 pm."

The final results are expected by this evening.

Sharma said he believed the chances of winning were bright for the lone law firm candidate Sondhi, but noted: "Every candidate fights individually, it's a different thing that he is a partner in a law firm, but you can't say that he is a candidate representing law firms. Sondhi should hopefully be in."

In Delhi Bar Council's single transferable preferential system of voting, each voter has to mark 25 preferences out of a total of 129 for selection of candidates. The counting is done of the first preference votes polled by each candidate and this list is drawn in order of the maximum of the first preference votes polled by a candidate in descending order.

"The unique feature of this voting system is that not even a single vote will go waste," explained Sharma. "Every preference is utilised. If your first preferred candidate is out, then the second preference will go in favour of another candidate."

If some candidates do not reach the 786 overall vote benchmark, the 25 candidates with the most votes will be declared the winners.

He added that both voting and counting had been conducted in a fair and smooth manner. "Since it is a complicated system of counting, we used to call experts from the election commission of India to help with the counting process, but this year the team of S K Mahajan have done the counting themselves."

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